Berliner Philharmoniker Master Class - Horn


Uploaded by BerlinPhil on 12.10.2010

Transcript:

STEFAN DE LEVAL JEZIERSKI: Hello.
My name is Stefan de Leval Jezierski, and I'm in my 33rd
season with the Berlin Philharmonic as a horn player,
as you maybe noticed, because I have the horn here.
And we want to take a look at a very important and beautiful
piece of the horn repertoire, the Nocturne from Mendelssohn's
Midsummer Night's Dream.
Mendelssohn wrote this piece when he was only 17 years old.
And it is one of the jewels of the horn repertoire.
It has a few difficulties.
And there are few different possibilities for phrasing.
One thing to remember in an audition situation is not
to play it too slowly.
It can be very tiring if it's played too slowly.
It has to have the feeling of calm, but not
actually too slowly.
OK, we'll take it phrase by phrase.
The dynamic is piano dolce.
When you're playing it in the orchestra, there's a lot of
other things going along, woodwinds, the rest of the
horns, strings are playing.
So you have to play it with the full sound.
In an audition, just try to play with the most
beautiful sound you can.

[HORN BEING PLAYED]
OK.
That's the first phrase of this piece.
There are two possibilities to play, to phrase it.
One of them is to breathe after the F-sharp in the fourth bar.
And that would be:
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
Et cetera.
The other possibility is to breathe after the E-flat.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
I prefer actually breathing after the E-flat.
Because this piece is like poetry.
And in a poem, the end of the sentence has to rhyme.
So you have this measure, one, two, three, four.

[HORN BEING PLAYED]
It's rhyming with, one two three, four, four bars later.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
So you're both ending with an interval going down.
But some conductors like it one way, some conductors
like it the other way.
I think everyone should decide how they want to play it.
The main thing is to keep the melody going.
Play with a beautiful legato and a beautiful sound.
And just keep it sounding calm and simple.
Now comes the third phrase.

[HORN BEING PLAYED]
This phrase starts forte and has a crescendo.
This is the phrase that has to open up, and really be
like a tenor in the opera.
So you have the octave.
Make sure that the top F-sharp is tongue, but
still well-connected.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
And then connect from the F-sharp legato.
Play between the notes.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
Crescendo for the first two phrases, and then diminuendo.
And then it starts mezzo forte again.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
And here, subito piano.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
And then really open it up for the two fermatas.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
Let the sound disappear.
And then continue with the last phrase of this solo.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
In this last phrase, since the last phrase ends on a note
that's just one note per bar.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
And not
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
I like to phrase after the F-sharp.
I'll demonstrate again here.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
Breathe there at the last time.
The first time you should breathe.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
Because the phrase ends.
[HORN BEING PLAYED]
It adds a bit more symmetry to the phrase, the
ending of the phrase.
But the last time, since you're ending on a single note,
I think it's better to breathe after the F-sharp.
Well, this was the Midsummer Night's Dream.
Just imagine when you're playing it, the middle of
the summer, a warm night, maybe in the nature.
Try and get the feeling of this piece.
And try and convey this while you're playing it.
And enjoy it.
Have fun.
And good luck.